Sacked FBI Director James Comey delivers farewell message
Former FBI director James Comey urged staff at the bureau on Wednesday not to dwell on his abrupt sacking by US President Donald Trump and continue to uphold the constitution.
Mr Comey was suddenly dismissed on Tuesday by the president, who said his decision was motivated strictly by Mr Comey’s mishandling of a high-stakes probe into the emails of his presidential rival Hillary Clinton.
Mr Comey sent a letter to friends and staff on Wednesday in which he said he would miss his colleagues and mission deeply, but had come to terms with the decision.
“I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI Director for any reason, or for no reason at all,” he wrote in the letter.
“I’m not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won’t either.”
Mr Comey said Americans should see the FBI as a rock of competence, honesty and independence.
“What makes leaving the FBI hard is the nature and quality of its people, who together make it that rock for America,” he wrote.
He continued: “My hope is that you will continue to live our values and the mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.”
The letter is the first time Mr Comey’s thoughts on his abrupt dismissal by Mr Trump have been aired in public.
Just obtained First on CNN — Comey writes farewell letter to his former staff and friends pic.twitter.com/Y0zy8NAo6J
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) May 11, 2017
Mr Trump’s stated reason for firing Mr Comey was greeted with overwhelming skepticism from Democrats as well as some Republicans, and many US political observers.
Back in October, Mr Trump was outspoken in praising Mr Comey’s handling of the email probe, and he kept the FBI director in his post upon taking office.
Democrats have accused the president of attempting to undermine a FBI probe into possible collusion between Mr Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia to sway the 2016 election.
Just days before Mr Comey was fired he asked lawmakers for more resources to support the agency’s investigation, Reuters reported.